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Reforms to boost nation's market fairness

2021-11-19 By LI XIANG (China Daily)

Actions include strengthening anti-monopoly regulation to promote common prosperity

China will accelerate reforms to encourage fair competition in the market, spur the vitality of smaller companies and offer private business owners greater tax incentives to give back to society, which is crucial for the country to achieve the goal of common prosperity, experts said.

Promoting common prosperity, a major component of the Chinese leadership's historic mission of achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, was highlighted in the resolution adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The four-day key Party meeting ended on Nov 11.

The idea of building common prosperity will be the overarching theme that underlines the next phase of China's development and will be the strategic goal in the country's pursuit of high-quality growth in the new era, said Liu Xueliang, a senior researcher at the Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Measures have been taken to better regulate monopolistic behavior, excessively high incomes and the abuse of market dominance by some companies, which jeopardize fair competition. Policymakers will continue to take measures to foster fair market practices, which is part of the broader objective of building common prosperity, Liu said.

The State Council has appointed Gan Lin as the new head of the country's anti-monopoly bureau under the State Administration for Market Regulation, according to an announcement posted on the website of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Monday.

The appointment is seen as the country's latest move to strengthen anti-monopoly regulation after several internet giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, were fined or investigated over their alleged monopolistic practices.

Fostering fair market competition and ensuring equal market access for all enterprises is an important precondition for China to improve its market-based economy and to fully unleash the country's growth potential, which is in line with the country's overall objective of building common prosperity, said Yu Miaojie, deputy dean of Peking University's National School of Development.

"It will help to ensure that all market entities, especially smaller firms, get equal development opportunities and help spur their vitality, which will contribute to achieving the goal of common prosperity as smaller firms are important job providers and wealth creators," Yu said.

China's top leadership has vowed to deepen reforms and advance high-quality development to promote common prosperity.

Han Wenxiu, an official with the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs, said development is the top priority for China to promote common prosperity and China will foster an environment where people can enjoy equal opportunities, equal rights and fair rules amid the country's development.

Han also said that for enterprises, promoting common prosperity means that they "manage their operations well", which includes running their business legally and honestly, paying taxes according to regulations and fulfilling social responsibilities.

Xu Hongcai, deputy director of the China Association of Policy Science's economic policy committee, said that the resolution adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee sent out the signal that China will solve development problems and narrow the wealth gap through promoting high-quality development, which requires further reforms to get rid of monopolies and unfair competition that prevents the market from playing a crucial and efficient role in resource allocation.

Han, from the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs, also said that China encourages entrepreneurs to actively participate in charitable activities, adding that donations are voluntary and must not mean "killing the rich to help the poor".

Some experts said that China needs to further reform its tax policies, such as improving tax incentives for charitable donations and giving private business owners and wealthy individuals greater incentives to donate to charitable causes.